NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 696-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 04, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died May 30, 2007, in Upper Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed apparently due to enemy fire. They were assigned to the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- Chief Warrant Officer Christopher M. Allgaier, 33, of Omaha, Nebraska
- Chief Warrant Officer Joshua R. Rodgers, 29, of Carson City, Nevada
- Staff Sergeant Charlie L. Bagwell, 28, of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
- Sergeant Jesse A. Blamires, 25, of West Jordan, Utah
- Sergeant Brandon E. Hadaway, 25, of Valley, Alabama
7 June 2007:
A former Carson City, Nevada, man was among five 82d Airborne soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last week, his aunt said Monday.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Rodgers, 29, was killed Wednesday when the Ch-47 Chinook he was co-piloting was apparently shot down by enemy fire in the Upper Sangin Valley in Afghanistan, said Major Tom Earnhardt. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the crash.
A member of the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Brigade Combat Team, Rodgers was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he lived with his wife, Casey Gilder Rodgers, of Gardnerville, and their three daughters ages 2, 3 and 7, said maternal aunt Susan McElfish of Carson City.
The CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down Wednesday in southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province, killing the five American soldiers and two others on board – a Briton and a Canadian.
Shortly before the crash, the twin-rotor helicopter had dropped off at least 30 paratroopers from the 82nd in an air assault on a Taliban position.
The U.S. soldiers were assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-82.
Rodgers deployed to Afghanistan in January and had previously served a year in Iraq, said McElfish.
She said her nephew, the only child of her younger sister Deborah Walker, graduated from Douglas High School in 1997. He attended his freshman year at Carson High in 1994.
He and his wife, Casey, were married in 1997 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Gardnerville, according to Carson City Marriage Bureau records.
“It would have been their 10th anniversary in October,” McElfish said.
Rodgers joined the Army after high school, served four years as an enlisted infantryman, then moved back to the area and worked as a corrections officer for two years.
According to the Nevada Department of Corrections, Rodgers was employed as a correction officer trainee in August 2000. He then worked as a permanent corrections officer from August 2001 to February 2003.
After that, he reenlisted in the Army and became a warrant officer.
Upon hearing the news, Deborah Walker and her husband, Ben Walker, of Carson City, immediately went to North Carolina to be with Casey and the children, McElfish said.
“Joshua was a wonderful husband and son. He was our hero. He was faithful to his country. He was an American,” she said through tears. “He was devoted to his family. Family was everything to Joshua.”
In honor of Rodgers, flags at the Nevada State Capitol were flown at half-staff on Monday.
Nevada Congressman Dean Heller also offered his condolences to the family.
“May has been a difficult month for Nevadans. Some of our best and brightest have been lost fighting for our country. I am saddened by the most recent news of Joshua Rodgers' death. His passing is a loss not only for his family and friends, but for our country and our state,” Heller said.
McElfish said funeral arrangements have not yet been made, but that her nephew will be brought back to Nevada.
“This is his home, this is where his family will be,” she said.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard